Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, February 10, 2017

Quizzes Feb 14, 16

T 14 - Happy Valentine's Day! (Bring something sweet to share & claim two bonus bases) The Man Who Asked Questions, LH 1; Plato, DR 11. And recommended-LISTENAngie Hobbs on Plato on Erotic Love (PB); WATCH: Know ThyselfDiotima's Ladder: From Lust to MoralityPlato (SoL)

Also see quizzes for Midterm group reports and and post your questions, comments, & links-
#8 Sam, Kate, Taylor -The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer - altruism
#9 Katie, Rashad, Jailyn, - The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer ed. by William Irvin
#10 Grace, DeTrayce, Dalton - Animal Farm by George Orwell - Communism & philosophy

LH
1. What kind of conversation did Socrates consider a success?

2. What was wisdom, for Socrates?

3. With what Platonic theory does the parable of the cave connect?

DR
4. In Plato's Symposium, what does Socrates say Diotima taught him about love?

5. What nagged Plato about the academic way of life?

6. What analogy does Socrates/Plato drawn between the parts of the city and the parts of the soul?

DQ
  • Is talking better than writing? (LH 4)
  • Where do you imagine you would be in the social hierarchy, if you lived in Plato's ideal republic? (LH 6)
  • Do you think Socrates did in fact "corrupt the youth"? (LH 7)
  • Do humans ever achieve or encounter perfection in any respect?
  • Do you agree with Socrates/Plato about the ladder of love?
  • Is there an important difference between practical and theoretical knowledge? Is knowledge for its own sake as valuable as knowing "how to"?
  • Does human nature mirror society, and vice versa? Can we learn how to manage one by imitating the other?
  • Was Plato right to suggest that the fate of Socrates was like that of the escaped cavedweller in his Republic? (199)


Th 16 - True Happiness, LH 2. Midterm reports continue:
#8 Kylan, CJ, Justin - The Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros - peripatetic philosophy
#9 Hayden, Carlos - At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell - existentialism
#10 Kevin, Kane - Seinfeld & PhilosophyQuiz here

1. What did Aristotle mean by "one swallow doesn't make a summer"?

2. What does eudaimonia mean?

3. How can we increase our chance of eudaimonia?

4. Eudaimonia can only be achieved in relation to what?

5. What is "truth by authority"?

6. How is authority hostile to the spirit of philosophy?



DQ
  • What's the difference, for you, between pleasure and happiness? 
  • If you were depicted in Raphael's School of Athens whose side would you be on, Plato's or Aristotle's? Or would you be in a posture more like Diogenes's?
  • Do you agree with Aristotle that tragic events occurring after your death, like your child's tragic illness, can still impact your happiness?
  • Are you happy? Are you a hedonist?
  • Do you believe anything strictly on the basis of authority, whether that of a person, an institution, or a tradition? Why or why not?





Russell: IN the corpus of Aristotle's works, three treatises on ethics have a place, but tow of these are now generally held to be by disciples. the third, the Nicomachean Ethics, remains for the most part unquestioned as to authenticity, but even in this book there is a portion (Books V, VI, and VII) which is held by many to have been incorporated from one of the works of disciples. I shall, however, ignore this controversial question, and treat the book as a whole and as Aristotle's. The views of Aristotle on ethics represent, in the main, the prevailing opinions of educated and experienced men of his day. They are not, like Plato's, impregnated with mystical religion; nor do they -172- countenance such unorthodox theories as are to be found in the Republic concerning property and the family. Those who neither fall below nor rise above the level of decent, well-behaved citizens will find in the Ethics a systematic account of the principles by which they hold that their conduct shold be regulated. Those who demand anything more will be disappointed. The book appeals to the respectable middle-aged, and has been used by them, especially since the seveteenth century, to repress the ardours and enthusiasms of the young. But to a man with any depth of feeling it cannot but be repulsive. The good, we are told, is happiness, which is an activity of the soul. Aristotle says that Plato was right in dividing the soul into tow parts, one rational, the other irrational. The irrational part itself he divides into the vegetative (which is found even in plants) and the appetitive (which is found in all animals). the appetitive part may be in some degree rational, when the goods that it seeks are such as reason approves of. This is essential to the account of virtue, for reason alone, in Aristotle, is purely contemplative, and does not, without the help of appetite, lead to any practical activity. There are tow kinds of virtues, intellectual and moral, corresponding to the two parts of the soul. Intellectual virtues result from teaching, moral virtues from habit. It is the business of the legislator to make the citizens good by forming good habits. We become just by performing just acts, and similarly as regards other virtues. By being compelled to acquire good habits, we shall in time, Aristotle thinks, come to find pleasure in performing good actions. One is reminded of Hamlet's speech to his mother: Assume a virtue if you have it not. That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat, Of habits devil, is angel, yet in this, That to the use of actions fair and good He likewise gives a frock or livery That aptly is put on. We now come to the famous doctrine of the golden mean. Every virtue is a mean between two extremes, each of which is a vice. This is proved by an examination of the various virtues. Courage is a mean between cowardice and rashness; liberality, between prodigality and -173- meanness; proper pride, between vanity and humility; ready wit, between buffoonery and boorishness; modesty, between bashfulness and shamelessness. Some virtues do not seem to fit into this scheme; for instance, truthfulness. Aristotle says that this is a mean between boastfulness and mock-modesty (1108a), but this only applies to truthfulness about oneself. I do not see how truthfulness in any wider sense can be fitted into the scheme. There was once a mayor who had adopted Aristotle's doctrine; at the end of his term of office he made a speech saying that he had endeavoured to steer the narrow line between partiality on the one hand and impartiality on the other. The view of truthfulness as a mean seems scarcely less absurd. Aristotle's opinions on moral questions are always such as were conventional in his day. One some points they differ from those of our time, chiefly where some form of aristocracy comes in. We think that human beings, at least in ethical theory, all have equal rights, and that justice involves equality; Aristotle thinks that justice involves, not equality, but right proportion, which is only sometimes equality...
IEP: Aristotle is a towering figure in ancient Greek philosophy, making contributions to logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance and theatre. He was a student of Plato who in turn studied under Socrates. He was more empirically-minded than Plato or Socrates and is famous for rejecting Plato's theory of forms.
As a prolific writer and polymath, Aristotle radically transformed most, if not all, areas of knowledge he touched. It is no wonder that Aquinas referred to him simply as "The Philosopher." In his lifetime, Aristotle wrote as many as 200 treatises, of which only 31 survive. Unfortunately for us, these works are in the form of lecture notes and draft manuscripts never intended for general readership, so they do not demonstrate his reputed polished prose style which attracted many great followers, including the Roman Cicero. Aristotle was the first to classify areas of human knowledge into distinct disciplines such as mathematics, biology, and ethics. Some of these classifications are still used today.
As the father of the field of logic, he was the first to develop a formalized system for reasoning. Aristotle observed that the validity of any argument can be determined by its structure rather than its content. A classic example of a valid argument is his syllogism: All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal. Given the structure of this argument, as long as the premises are true, then the conclusion is also guaranteed to be true. Aristotle’s brand of logic dominated this area of thought until the rise of modern propositional logic and predicate logic 2000 years later.
Aristotle’s emphasis on good reasoning combined with his belief in the scientific method forms the backdrop for most of his work. For example, in his work in ethics and politics, Aristotle identifies the highest good with intellectual virtue; that is, a moral person is one who cultivates certain virtues based on reasoning. And in his work on psychology and the soul, Aristotle distinguishes sense perception from reason, which unifies and interprets the sense perceptions and is the source of all knowledge.
Aristotle famously rejected Plato’s theory of forms, which states that properties such as beauty are abstract universal entities that exist independent of the objects themselves. Instead, he argued that forms are intrinsic to the objects and cannot exist apart from them, and so must be studied in relation to them. However, in discussing art, Aristotle seems to reject this, and instead argues for idealized universal form which artists attempt to capture in their work.

Aristotle was the founder of the Lyceum, a school of learning based in Athens, Greece; and he was an inspiration for the Peripatetics, his followers from the Lyceum... IEP

“One swallow does not make a summer,
neither does one fine day; 
similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” 

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” 

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” 

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.” 

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.” 

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” 

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” 

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”

“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.” 

More quotes attributed to Aristotle...
Old posts-Aristotle, HP 159-184 (Ch XIX-XX); PG 38-58

1. What does Russell think Aristotle's influence on Alexander was?

2. Why does Russell call Aristotle's doctrine optimistic and teleological?

3. What is "the good," for Aristotle?

4. Aristotle mainly agrees with those who define "virtue" how?

PG
5. Progress in philosophy consists partly in bringing what to light?

6. "Platonism" is often expressed in what assertion?

7. What is the Sublime Braid?

8. What kind of piety results from coming to understand our real place in the larger scheme? 

DQ

  • If Aristotle's metaphysics is Plato diluted by common sense, what's common about it? 162
  • Does each of us have an "essence"? 164
  • What do you think of Aristotle's God? 167f.
  • Is happiness the only thing in the world that's intrinsically good, for its own sake?
  • What do you think of Aristotle's doctrine of the golden mean? 173f.
  • What do you think of the relativism debate between Boghossian and Fish, and specifically Fish's statement that philosophical conclusions "do not travel"?
  • Is mathetmatics the uniquely "right form" for explaining the world? 50  
  • Post your DQs please
==
1. Complete the statement, identify the source, and explain the meaning of "One swallow..."

2. What was Aristotle's word for happiness, success, or flourishing?

3. Did Aristotle think we could learn to live a good life? Did he think it virtuous for individuals to focus exclusively on the pursuit of their own self-interest?*

4. In the Raphael painting School of Athens, what does Aristotle's body language imply about his philosophy (and Plato's)? 

5. What did Aristotle think we could do to increase our chance of flourishing or succeeding as human beings?

6. What reliance, ironically invoked by some Aristotelian scholars for centuries after his death,  is contrary to the spirit of philosophy?

DQs:


  • What do you think Aristotle's body language in School of Athens means? Which side of the painting, his or Plato's, would you be on?
  • Why didn't Aristotle think children could be fully happy, fully "eudaimon"? Who are the happiest young and old people you know? Are their forms of happiness different? 
  • What's been the happiest moment of your life, so far? Or the least happy? At the time, would you have said that your life was happy? 
  • What's your idea of "the good life"? Do you consider other people's well-being to be any concern of yours? Is it a neglect of human potential to live merely for material values?
  • What is "the right kind of character"? What does it mean to you to "become a better person"? Is that something you actively strive for? Do you think everyone can, and should? 
  • Do you recall a time in childhood when you asked, a parent, a Sunday School teacher, or some other adult the question "Who or what made God?" Did you receive a satisfactory response (from your present point of view)? Was the response an appeal to authority  - the authority of the Bible or some other sacred text, the interpreters of your faith, or of your parents?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - Aristotle & God

We have Aristotle on two tracks (the Little History and Philosophy Bites) today in CoPhi. God's* on 3d (pinch-hitting for Lucius Outlaw and last year's America the Philosophical* discussion of the historical role of African-Americans in philosophy, if you're interested).

(*The God, or a god? An important distinction, as Bill Murray noted in Groundhog Day: scroll down...)

Aristotle‘s in the Pythons' philosopher's song too, though he's even more sober than his Ionian predecessors. He rejected his teacher Plato’s metaphysics, returned to the cave of the phenomenal world to take a closer look, avoided universalizing abstractions and CAPS (preferring forms in things to transcendent and remote FORMS "above"), and inspired the name of our annualSpring speaker series in the philosophy department at MTSU, the Lyceum.

(We actually now also have a *Fall Lyceum at MTSU, inaugurated last year by Carlin Romano.)

The best quick & graphic way of illustrating the difference between Plato and his student Aristotle, I’ve found, is by pondering Raphael’s famous painting School of Athens [annotated]. Pay close attention to the hands. "On the other side [of Plato] stands Aristotle, the man of science and common sense, who points earthward in contrast with Plato's gesture toward the heavens. In Aristotle's arms Raphael put Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics..."

A new history of western philosophy takes that painting to heart. The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization, by Arthur Herman, traces its implications for centuries of philosophers who lined up to squeeze into the School behind either Plato or Aristotle.
They began as student and master. They ended as rivals. Plato is supposed to have said, “Aristotle kicked me,as foals do their mothers when they are born.”All the evidence, however, suggests the crucial break between them came after Plato's death. Aristotle entered Plato's Academy in Athens at age seventeen, probably in 367 BCE. When he left, he was in his forties...
Why they broke is a fascinating story reflected in centuries of divergent influence. If I were going to have to line up in that painting I'd have to pick Aristotle's side.

"How Aristotle Invented Science"-a slight overstatement, but not compared to Plato the armchair philosopher.

Aristotle was more eloquently poetic than scientific, though, when he said one swallow doesn't make a summer, and a few moments of pleasure don't add up to a happy life. Nor does a "happy childhood." We must be in it for the long haul, and must see our good as coordinate with that of others including those who'll succeed us after we're gone. It's all about eudaimonia ("you die" is a helpful mnemonic, aggressive and hostile though it sounds, and though it really means you live.)

It's probably for his ethics that Aristotle is most widely renowned, but Bertrand Russell for one was unimpressed. "There is in Aristotle an almost complete absence of what may be called benevolence or philanthropy. The sufferings of mankind, in so far as he is aware of them, do not move him emotionally." (Hold that thought, when we talk about the problem of evil.)

(Yesterday was the anniversary of Russell's death, btw. Strange occasion to mark, I suppose, but any excuse to check out Maria Popova's brainpickings is worthwhile.)


Aristotle was a naturalist, noticing our continuity with the rest of nature. Like trees and plants we flourish when well-nurtured. Unlike them, we must take charge of our own nurture in order to reach our potential and achieve The Good Life in tandem with our peers.


It's so ironic that the middle ages made Aristotle "The Philosopher," i.e. the unquestioned Authority. That was indeed "against the spirit of philosophy."

Terence Irwin's podcast interview is compelling listening, for those unaccustomed to a Yorkshire accent (or whatever it is). He makes the same point I just did about coordinating the personal and the public good, and "identifying one's own interest with other people's interest" etc.

He also helpfully corrects overly-simple reductions of Aristotle's ethics to a dogged middle-of-the-roadism. Avoiding extremes doesn't mean choosing the blandest, milk-toastiest possibility. No, hisGolden Mean means doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason etc., and that could very well turn out to be something exciting. Or scary. (Like going after ISIS? What would Aristotle say?)

Don't confuse the ethical Golden Mean with the geometrical Golden Ratio. "The golden ratio, also known as the divine proportion, golden mean, or golden section, is a number often encountered when taking the ratios of distances..."

Aristotle's version of God, on the other hand, may just be too bland for your taste. It's not a he or she, or really even an it as we typically understand things.

To Aristotle, God is the first of all substances, the necessary first source of movement who is himself unmoved. God is a being with everlasting life, and perfect blessedness, engaged in never-ending contemplation. IEPThis is a remote and impersonal God, who won't intervene in our affairs and could really care less about them.

The God implied in the Hebrew Bible book of Ecclesiastes seems fairly indifferent to human suffering & flourishing too, and unpromising with respect to the old dream of Sunday School heaven and immortality. Jennifer Hecht glosses it smartly in Doubt:

Koheleth brushed aside the dream of an afterlife with a simple appeal to reason--Who knows this?--and the conclusion that humans have nothing above the beasts in this regard...But it doesn't follow that simple happiness is unavailable in this life. The recipe's pretty simple too.

Love your spouse. Get some work to do, do it with all your might; enjoy the simple pleasures of food, drink, and love. Everything else is vanity. But, it's a form of vanity we can live with. The search for true love, solid friendship, good work, and daily delight might just be enough. Enjoy your life. A person could do worse. The search for happiness on this orb is anything but a "dismal" undertaking, as someone sadly suggested. You could ask Aristotle. It's the end and aim of life.

Not everyone agrees with Aristotle about that, of course. For some, the end and aim is to serve and glorify God (and maybe reap the reward of that elusive afterlife after all). Their god knows and cares about human striving, and presumably abhors gratuitous suffering.

But there's the rub that's rubbed raw in our Philosophy: The Basics reading today: the perennial problem of evil or suffering, or the worry that our world is too full of woe to lay at the figurative feet of an omni-being. And even if we think we can disarm some of the problem by deploying the timeworn Free Will Defense, we leave "natural" evil (killer storms, quakes, disease) unaccounted for.
We also read today of David Hume's posthumous objections to weakly-analogical Paley-ish Design Arguments. Human artifacts are one thing, the products of complex time-borne natural phenomena seem to be something very different.

But natural selection, the "blind" and unpremeditated evolutionary process whereby organisms thrive when they develop adaptations suitable to the conditions of their environment, can be considered a form of Design without a Designer. We should ask and try to answer: Is there an important difference between intelligent design and natural complexity?

Must there have been a universal First Cause? But what caused the cause? That question is neck-and-neck with the problem of evil, in turning out many a young non-theist. J.S. Mill and Bertrand Russell, for instance.

[T]the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill's Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: "My father taught me that the question 'Who made me?' cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?'" That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian
I think I've heard just about every imaginable response to this question, through the years in my classrooms, but I'll ask it again:

If you believe in God, how do you attempt to reconcile or understand the full extent of human suffering? (Think of particular instances such as the "agony of a young child dying of an incurable disease," or an innocent gunshot or terror victim, or someone killed in a storm and their survivors.) Do you see it as part of a divine plan we just have to trust, or a deep mystery we shouldn't think too much about? Or do you believe in a God who is less than omnipotent and is just doing the best He/She/It can to bring about a harmonious and just Creation?

If you don't believe in God, is that in whole or in part because of the Problem of Evil? Or something else?

Or maybe you're like Charlie Brown's antagonist Lucy, who once responded to his Socratic query about the meaning of it all that "I just don't think about things I don't think about." Didn't seem to make her any happier, not thinking. Did it?


Walk Magazine (@WalkMagazine)
'You get close quickly when you walk side by side' says Clare Balding - we could not agree more! #walking ow.ly/He3Jg

Aristotle would like this:
In a hut in southern Germany and an apartment in New York City, about ninety years ago, two philosophers tried to sort out a family of ancient problems concerning experience, knowledge, and our place in the world. Working independently, they developed a similar idea and used it as a launching pad for more.
The way to make progress on those problems, they thought, is to treat our practical engagement with the environment as primary. “In our dealings we come across equipment for writing, sewing, working, transportation, measurement.” We encounter ordinary objects “as things of doing, suffering, contact, possession and use.” When we engage with such things, they are “not thereby objects for knowing the ‘world’ theoretically; they are simply what gets used, what gets produced, and so on.” “They are things had before they are things cognized.” The move to understand things theoretically only comes about when there is some interruption or “deficiency” in our ordinary dealings. A common error in philosophy, however, has been a kind of “intellectualism,” treating all our contact with the world in terms of concepts and representations, assuming that “knowledge is the only mode of experience that grasps things.” The irony is that such intellectualism makes knowledge itself impossible to understand. If we forget that knowledge is derivative from more basic kinds of engagement with the world, we end up “making knowledge, conceived as ubiquitous, itself inexplicable.”
These are central themes also in Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Taylor’s new book,Retrieving Realism. As Dreyfus and Taylor see it, philosophical work in the modern period (in the philosopher’s sense of “modern,” which starts around 1600) has been plagued by a mediational view of how we relate to the world. “Only through” intermediaries can we have contact with things outside us. A few hundred years ago the mediators were supposed to be image-like sensations or ideas. Now they are often sentences, or internal representations of the kind envisaged in artificial intelligence and cognitive science. The mediational approach, for Dreyfus and Taylor, is one that people adopt without entirely realizing it. Working within it, however, leads to many errors and misguided debates. It leads to a dualistic sorting of the world’s contents into mental and physical, and with this comes an acute problem of how the two sides could be related. But from the early twentieth century, a better view has slowly developed, according to Dreyfus and Taylor, especially through the work of Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. They show us how to have a theory of contact with the world without mediators, through a “reembedding of thought and knowledge in the bodily and social-cultural contexts in which it takes place.”
Compact and engaging, Retrieving Realism is more approachable than its weighty subject matter might predict. The book begins from an assertion of the “embedding” of thought and knowledge in its bodily and practical contexts, and then argues against a range of views that try to insist that our contact with the world must somehow run through representations, language, or concepts. Instead, our basic contact with the world involves a kind of “absorbed coping.” The authors are not entirely hostile to the idea of representation of the world in our minds and in language, but those phenomena are secondary. Recognizing this, for Dreyfus and Taylor, enables us to recover from the morass of mediationism the idea that we live in, and can know about, a world that exists independently of us. That is the realism that is being “retrieved.”
The point that not everything we do makes use of theories and concepts might seem obvious—clearly we also eat and drink and walk on things. But Dreyfus and Taylor think that philosophy constantly invents new ways to falsely intellectualize our relationship to things that we do. Philosophy itself does not subside once we see these issues clearly; philosophy has tasks beyond merely diagnosing errors. We have to work out how to negotiate differences between cultures and between different methods of knowing the world. This work will go better when those differences are understood against a common background of dealing with the world that we all, as humans, engage in.
• • •
The early twentieth century was indeed a time when the philosophical landscape shifted, but Dreyfus and Taylor give a one-sided account of the events of this period. The two figures at work in my opening vignette were Heidegger, in the hut, and John Dewey, in New York. Heidegger’s Being and Time was published in 1927. A few years earlier, Dewey published Experience and Nature, revising it in 1929. This was not Dewey’s first book, as in Heidegger’s case, but the fourteenth of (too) many, containing ideas that had developed from Dewey’s first years as an “idealist” philosopher, through the classic debates over pragmatism in the first years of the new century, to this mature position... (continues)

Progress, Plato, Aristotle


More Platonic reflections from Rebecca Newberger Goldstein in CoPhi today, and Russell on Aristotle.

Goldstein continues her reply to the philosophy jeerers and their slight that philosophy bakes no bread and gets us nowhere. She might have recalled William James's opening salvo in Pragmatism acknowledging the former but entirely repudiating the latter.

Believing in philosophy myself devoutly, and believing also that a kind of new dawn is breaking upon us philosophers, I feel impelled, per fas aut nefas, to try to impart to you some news of the situation.

Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. It works in the minutest crannies and it opens out the widest vistas. It 'bakes no bread,' as has been said, but it can inspire our souls with courage; and repugnant as its manners, its doubting and challenging, its quibbling and dialectics, often are to common people, no one of us can get along without the far-flashing beams of light it sends over the world's perspectives. These illuminations at least, and the contrast-effects of darkness and mystery that accompany them, give to what it says an interest that is much more than professional.

In fact, philosophy constantly progresses in this way, by illuminating the "covert presumptions" that lie buried beneath our awareness. Facing, discussing, and sometimes revising or rejecting our various unexamined convictions can be the epitome, and always is the requisite condition, of progress at the level of reflective thought. What is truth, beauty, or goodness? You may think you know, but we need to talk about it.

The path of progress for Plato is dialogic, argumentative, and collaborative, like much scientific discourse; but unlike most scientific results, those of philosophy register most powerfully in personal terms, and are revealed in the progressive personal transformations of individuals rather than in "paradigm shifts" impacting whole disciplines and epochs.

What is Platonism? It's an unfamiliar idea about ideas, that when they embody truth they do so by subsisting in an abstract realm beyond the reach of everyday sense (and common sense). "A Platonist asserts that the abstract is as real as the concrete, the general as realized as the particular." Or moreso. A Platonist is the diametric opposite of a Pragmatist.

And, a Platonist asserts the eternal intertwining of goodness, beauty, and truth: a Sublime Braid that cashes out for Plato's Socrates as humility and piety of a secular sort, a "strengthened kinship with the cosmos" through an uplifted infatuation with wisdom and "love for that which isn't oneself."

Aristotle's student Alexander, "arrogrant, drunken, cruel, vindictive, and grossly superstitious," was evidently not a good philosopher. Russell doubts he learned much from his tutor, but he did us the service of keeping Hellenic civilization alive long enough to produce a big chunk of our curriculum.

Aristotle was optimistic and teleological (or purpose-driven), convinced that "the universe and everything in it is developing towards something continually better." Coulda fooled us, or most of us. (But Goldstein's husband Steve Pinker, with his Better Angels, might offer qualified agreement.)

Aristotle's "good," unlike Plato's remote and abstract Form, is immanent and practically universal. It's that activity of the virtuous soul called eudaimonia, flourishing, or happiness. Everybody wants some, for its own sake. Aristotle's god is another story.

And what is virtue? It's any action that tends to produce happiness (but don't confuse happiness with fleeting pleasure. One swallow does not make a summer.

Some more possible points for discussion today: If Aristotle's metaphysics is Plato diluted by common sense, what's so common about it? Does each of us have an "essence"? What do you think of Aristotle's airy and impersonal God? Is happiness the only thing in the world that's intrinsically good, for its own sake? Is Aristotle's golden mean really golden, or is it vapid, formulaidc, and equivocal? Is it true what Fish said to Boghossian, that philosophical conclusions "do not travel"? What can that possibly mean, from a peripatetic or pragmatic point of view?

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Marathon, "regarded as the kicking-off point for the rise of Classical Greece and the birth of Western civilization" (if you want to call it that). We're debating, at this late date, the deplorability of racists and other haters? People who casually fling the ugly word that rhymes with stitch, and worse, are offended by that perfectly apt and descriptive word? That's deplorable.

Why is it so hard to live in the present? Past and future do seem more safe, sane, and secure. But here and now is where it's always happening, and here and now is where we store our past and hatch our possible futures. Here's where the progress has to happen.
==
Weekend update. Highlights: the veggie chimichanga at Guac, Meryl Streep as a really good bad singer, one last Sounds game, honey (etc.) from the Green Door csa, wonderful songs at summer's end (loving the new WMOT roots music!), and Sunday brunch at home. Especially that. No time for Titans. Life is good.

Monday, September 9, 2013
Aristotle to Outlaw
We have Aristotle on two tracks (the Little History and Philosophy Bites) today in CoPhi, and on the third a "Woody Allen-ish" philosopher from New York (Canada originally), Lou Marinoff. He's featured in today's reading from America the Philosophical, as is local star Lucius Outlaw.


Aristotle‘s in the Pythons' philosopher's song too, though he's even more sober than his Ionian predecessors. He rejected his teacher Plato’s metaphysics, returned to the cave of the phenomenal world to take a closer look, avoided universalizing abstractions and CAPS (preferring forms in things to transcendent and remote FORMS "above"), and inspired the name of our annual Spring speaker series in the philosophy department at MTSU, the Lyceum.

Our first-ever Fall Lyceum is coming up on November 8, with Carlin Romano coming to explain why America really is a vibrantly philosophical civilization if you look in the right places. Watch for details.)

The best quick & graphic way of illustrating the difference between Plato and his student Aristotle, I’ve found, is by pondering Raphael’s famous painting School of Athens [annotated]. Pay close attention to the hands.

Aristotle said one swallow doesn't make a summer, and a few moments of pleasure don't add up to a happy life. Nor does a "happy childhood." We must be in it for the long haul, and must see our good as coordinate with that of others including those who'll succeed us after we're gone. It's all about eudaimonia ("you die" is a helpful mnemonic, aggressive and hostile though it sounds, and though it really means you live.)

Aristotle was a naturalist, noticing our continuity with the rest of nature. Like trees and plants we flourish when well-nurtured. Unlike them, we must take charge of our own nurture in order to reach our potential.

It's so ironic that the middle ages made Aristotle "The Philosopher," i.e. the unquestioned Authority. That was indeed "against the spirit of philosophy."

Terence Irwin's podcast interview is compelling listening, for those unaccustomed to a Yorkshire accent (or whatever it is). He makes the same point I just did about coordinating the personal and the public good, and "identifying one's own interest with other people's interest" etc.

He also helpfully corrects overly-simple reductions of Aristotle's ethics to a dogged middle-of-the-roadism. Avoiding extremes doesn't mean choosing the blandest, milk-toastiest possibility. It means doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason etc., and that could very well turn out to be something exciting. Or scary. (Like bombing Syria? What would Aristotle say?)

I used Lou Marinoff's Plato, Not Prozac in Intro (before it was CoPhi) some years ago. Was a bit tempted to experiment with hanging out a shingle and seeing whether the market could bear my therapeutic presence. One of these days, maybe.

Best intro to him might be this Times feature from awhile back.

...philosophical counselors disagree on everything from the best name -- philosophical practice? public philosophy? -- to whether they should be trying to cure people, empower them or guide them to self-understanding...

Marinoff and other practitioners hold that we all have a philosophy of life, whether we know it or not, and that we can benefit from identifying that philosophy, making sure it helps us rather than hinders us -- defining success, say, in a way we might actually achieve it -- and then strengthening it through dialogue with the great thinkers.

Sounds reasonable enough, doesn't it? But when professions and income levels collide, controversy ensues.

Lucius Outlaw was a pioneering African-American philosopher who studied at Fisk. He's at Vanderbilt now (where he's said some terrific things about teaching, learning, and love). I'm not quite sure why Carlin Romano's chosen to shine such a spotlight on him (I'll put it on my list of questions for Carlin when he comes, in November.)

The most prominent African-American philosopher in America is Cornel West, "in a league of his own" in Outlaw's own words. Here he is in London last year with our first podcast interviewee, MM McCabe (Socrates), and then in the public sphere of NYC, in a taxi, in and on "the examined life."


Kwame Anthony Appiah, London-born Ghanaian-raised, Cambridge-educated, and Princeton-based, is another African-heritage philosopher in America we should all know. His Cosmopolitanism, discussed here, would be required reading in every school, if I were philospher-king. He too was featured in The Examined Life, articulating why it's not only okay for people to be different but actually imperative. And healthy.

See also his wonderful talk on "Ethics in a World of Strangers."

There have been important African-American philosophers all along, including (notably) W.E.B. DuBois and (arguably) Booker T. Washington. And then there's Hubert Harrison.

Hubert Harrison, the “Black Socrates,” defies the stereotype of unblinking theism among African-Americans. He also admired Paine, noted errors in the Bible, and embraced Agnosticism (“such an agnostic as Huxley was”). He said he had no intention of bowing down to a lily-white god or worshipping a Jim Crow Jesus. He was more than a little literal when he also embraced Nietzsche’s repudiation of “slave ethics.” Admitting that reason alone did not meet his every need, he still preferred “to go to the grave with my eyes open.” That’s a really good personal credo, “eyes open.” Mind too. JMH

One more thing. The Bible book of Ecclesiastes came up in discussion on the CoPhi site, over the weekend. I broke my vow of staying entirely off the Internet during the Sabbath to post my own two cents. Seems crucial, from an Aristotelian or Marinoffian or just plain life perspective, to try and get clear on just what the author was trying to say. Surely not that you have to die and be one of the proud, the few, the "elect," to be happy. I prefer Jennifer Hecht's gloss:

Koheleth brushed aside the dream of an afterlife with a simple appeal to reason--Who knows this?--and the conclusion that humans have nothing above the beasts in this regard...

But it doesn't follow that simple happiness is unavailable in this life. The recipe's pretty simple.

Love your spouse. Get some work to do, do it with all your might; enjoy the simple pleasures of food, drink, and love. Everything else is vanity.

But, it's a form of vanity we can live with. The search for true love, solid friendship, good work, and daily delight might just be enough. Enjoy your life. A person could do worse. The search for happiness on this orb is anything but a "dismal" undertaking, as someone sadly suggested. You could ask Aristotle. It's the end and aim of life.

33 comments:

  1. 10-D.Q. responses

    1.) I believe writing is a better communication technique than talking due to the ability to influence many more easily than talking, and writing can last much longer over a period of time than what we may say.

    2.) I believe I would be be among the workers, which represents the lower class of the social hierarchy, due to the probability of the vast population would belong to this group, and if not a worker then a step up to soldier due to age and physique. To obtain any step up higher than the last would prove to be greatly difficult.

    3.) I do not think Socrates corrupted the youth,that he was going about his obligation to teach and converse with others. I believe that Athenian society (higher class/leaders) grew weary of Socrates's teachings, especially of godly matters, and thus pinned his as a corrupter of the youth due to his teachings that differed from Athenian culture and value. Thus resulted in his trial in Athens.

    4.) What is perfection? I personally do not believe humans, nor nature, can or will obtain perfection due to its incredibly low possibility to obtain it, and if perfection is obtained,will it truly be perfect? People have come close to perfection, or at least our idea of perfection, but have never actually obtained it.

    5.) I believe in Plato's ladder of love that we first are passionate of the body, which attracts us, to a particular person. We then begin to see them on the inside and begin to understand them as a whole, that what's on the inside greatly overcomes what's on the outside. Finally, through the steps of love Socrates claims to have learned from Diotima, we can perceive and come to understand what actual beauty is.

    6.) The main difference between practical and theoretical knowledge is that practical knowledge is the actuality of, or doing, something, it is the knowledge of a particular thing. Theoretical knowledge is the 'theory' behind, or how to do, something. It can be described as knowledge of something that has not been discovered or proved yet, or could be the base, or 'theory' behind practical knowledge. Both can be considered knowledge because without theoretical knowledge, one may not be able to pertain practical knowledge.

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  2. 8 2/14 Alternative Quiz Questions
    1. What did Socrates try to tackle at the beginning of the Republic
    2.Who does Socrates point out as being the only person who is in a position to judge the different sorts of pleasures?
    3.Why cant the impure pleasure derived from lowly things be satisfying?
    4.Precisely how much happier is a philosopher king compared to a tyrant?
    5.How much happier does the author say a philosopher king is compared to a tyrant?
    6.What do people most often take away from the Republic?
    7.What was not Platos main purpose?
    8.What WAS Platos main purpose?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3. Because they are intrinsically unstable and therefore illusory
      4. 729 times
      5. 125 times
      6. The extraordinary city with its implausible philosopher-kings that Plato uses as the vehicle for his argument
      7. Not to design a state at all
      8. it was to exploit the analogy between city and soul in order to get a broad picture of the relation between justice and happiness

      Delete
    2. 1. Thrasymachus’ arguments head on.
      2. Only one that experiences them all.
      4. 729x
      5. 125x
      6. The magnificence of the city, not the analogy.
      8. To inform people of his analogy using the city and the soul of the body.

      Delete
  3. Section 8
    Quiz Questions
    (LH)
    1. What is Plato’s most favorite work? And what did he describe in it?
    2. How was Socrates put to death?
    (DR)
    3. In The Republic, what did Plato try to establish about the Sophists’ conflict between morality and self-interest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. The Republic, he described an imaginary perfect society
      2. he was forced to drink poison made from hemlock
      3. That it was an illusion!

      Delete
  4. Section 8
    Discussion Questions

    1. I think that talking can be better than writing - in the right circumstance. Often when trying to suss out an idea or thought I have to say it out loud to find my way to clarity. As far as walking is concerned, at times find it distracting, interrupting my thoughts as I try to navigate the where and how I am going.

    3. I think he was corrupting the youth in the definition of what corruption was at that time. We as a society decide the social norms, what is right or wrong, what we are supposed to do. And even deeper within our society are various subcultures with their own set of acceptable behaviors.


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  5. Devin willis11:49 PM CST

    Devin Willis-8
    1. Talking is better than writing, because your able to discuss among people.
    2. I would be in the lower class society, just because I know how the system works and it is not towards my favor.
    3. I think he did corrupt the youth, because he was really manipulating the knowledge he possesed and was convincing the kids that what he knew was right so to say.
    4. No nothing can ever be perfect, but its just how you perceive it.
    5. Yes I agree because external looks entices you before the internal looks.

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  6. Section 8- Alternative Quiz Questions

    (LH)- Chp. 1

    1. What would Plato consider a perfect circle?
    2. Why did Plato believe that philosophers should be in charge and have all the political power?

    (DR)- Chp. 11

    1. What did Roger Penrose consider as Plato's "ideal world"? How is it understood?

    2. How did Diotima explain the pursuit of love?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. The form of the circle.
      2. They are the wisest people
      4. it ought to be in stages with the climax being appreciating beauty itself.

      Delete
  7. Discussion question answers 2/14:
    1. I think talking is better than writing if there is a specific question you're trying to answer. But I also think writing can be extremely helpful when you're trying to think of a question. Writing helps me stay on track when I come up with an idea. Thinking it in my head lets me get lost easily.
    2. I would be a worker, lesser class.
    3. He was doing the right thing, in my opinion. Teaching and having conversations with people is a great thing, and getting the youth to think deeper than the generation before them should always be the goal.
    4. I don't think any being we know of in the world has come close to experiencing perfection.
    5. Somewhat yes. Especially that we are attracted physically/to the body first.
    6. How can we advance without theoretical knowledge? There is so much that we would not know without it.
    7. Human nature forms society, and then evolves, and then society evolves.

    Alternate discussion questions:
    1. If reality was this separate dimension that we are not actually experiencing consciously would the mind actually be able to comprehend it if it could experience it?
    2. How could one actually know if they experienced reality or if their reality isn't the true reality?

    Alternative quiz question DR 11:
    1. What are the three tribes?

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  8. 8 2/16 Discussion Questions
    1. I think that the difference between pleasure and happiness is that pleasure is a quick feeling while happiness is a long lasting one
    2. I would be on Aristotles side because I would want to experience the world around me
    3.I don't think events that happen after your death could affect your happiness because you are already dead.
    4.I believe that I am happy and I wouldnt call myself a hedonist.
    5.I don't believe everything based off of authority because I believe that you need to find the truth for yourself and not let other people tell you what to believe.

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  9. 1. I think it depends on the conversation if talking is better. Some things it is easier or better to say face-to-face, but other things can be explained better if they are written down.
    2. I would most likely be in the lower working class.
    3. No, I would not say he corrupt the youth. I would say he made them think more in depth.
    4. No, I don’t think we have ever found or reached perfection, but some people try to glamorize others as if they are perfect.
    5. We tend to be attracted to others physical appearance.
    6. I guess knowledge can be valuable especially how to do something many people want, and only having a few people who can do it.
    7. Yes, and we can learn to manage it.

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  10. 9 2/14
    Is talking better than writing? (LH 4)
    I believe both are essential for critical thinking. Without talking you don't have any person to bounce your ideas off of, whereas with writing/typing you have something written in stone to better build off your ideas or thoughts.

    Where do you imagine you would be in the social hierarchy, if you lived in Plato's ideal republic? (LH 6)
    I would like to think I would be an artisan with a mastery in a particular area, however, there is really no way of knowing.

    Do you think Socrates did in fact "corrupt the youth"? (LH 7)
    No, he was more so enlightening the youth through thought-provoking conversation.

    Do humans ever achieve or encounter perfection in any respect?
    Not overall perfection, but sure, with enough practice and dedication in a particular subject I do believe "perfection" could be achieved.

    Do you agree with Socrates/Plato about the ladder of love?
    Yes, as we are connected physically in addition to the emotional connection.

    Is there an important difference between practical and theoretical knowledge? Is knowledge for its own sake as valuable as knowing "how to"?
    Knowledge in any form is useless without the implementation. What good is knowing something, or knowing how to do something if you don't actually do it.

    Does human nature mirror society, and vice versa? Can we learn how to manage one by imitating the other?
    Human nature is reliant on society and vice versa. Without society evolving humans wouldn't evolved, and if humans didn't evolve society wouldn't have evolved. It is very reminiscent of the chicken and the egg scenario. We can definitely learn to manage society and human nature through understanding either, however, we still have a lot of learning to do before we can learn to truly manage society in an impactful, meaningful way.

    Was Plato right to suggest that the fate of Socrates was like that of the escaped cavedweller in his Republic? (199)
    I don't think so, I felt like Socrates was a much more enlightened individual than the cave dwellers he was being compared to.

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  11. 10

    1. Talking and writing both have their strengths. I wouldn't say that one is better than the other.

    2. I would of liked to be a guardian, so I could help make decisions that would benefit the city. On the other hand I do not have a rich family background so I would probably choose to be an artisan, or have a profession in farming or something similar.

    3. I don't believe Socrates corrupted the youth. People just felt that way because he wanted his students to think outside of what's considered "common sense".

    4. Perfection is opinionated. Some people believe that they have witnessed it, others have not.

    5. I don't think love always works as it does in Socrates/Platos ladder of love. I'm sure that's it worked like that for some people though.

    6. I would say that there is a difference between practical and theoretical knowledge. Practical knowledge sounds like things that we should know in order to achieve daily goals. Theoretical knowledge requires flexible thinking while still following certain universal laws. I think knowledge for it's own sake is important to have as well as knowing "how to".

    7. Our societies are created by humans, therefore our societies mirror our own human nature and vice versa.

    8. I don't think Plato gave Socrates enough credit. Sometimes using analogies isn't the best way to compare how someone actually is.

    ReplyDelete
  12. 1. In my opinion talking is a better method of communication as writing. A lot of information gets left out when things are written. For example, sarcasm. Talking provides the information that the speaker is trying to convey, and how they deliver their information.

    4. Humans are not able to achieve perfection in any way. To be human is to be imperfect

    7. Society is a product of the individuals that reside in it. Society is human nature, not a mirror of it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Weekly Essay #3

    Existentialism in the 21st Century

    I asked a kid walking to class what are you studying, and he replies Business/Marketing--he did not look like the business type. Not that you have to look a certain part but something seemed off and he was a bit shy; he was only 18 he mentioned and kudos for being 18 enrolled in a Business Degree Program. I'm a bit older 27, so I have tested a trialed a few things and learned a lot from my experiences. So I said to him that's fabulous that will open so many doors for; then I asked why business? "Because my dad wants me to get a business degree." I get it, we want our kids to be successful and we want the best for them, BUT we have to mold them through there childhood to be able to make decisions for themselves, to be consciously aware of what they want to do. This is also what I like about Existentialism, Sartre promoted this because we need to be able to be free, to do what we want, say what we want! All this in mind that it matters how it will effect our human society but if you want to do something than do it! Not just because your Dad told you to or your best friend gave you advice; because when that decision is finally made, you are the one who did it. So make your own decisions, make logical decisions, don't seek help every time and learn from your mistakes. You are only a fool if you continue to make the same mistakes, I'm sure that's even in the Bible somewhere.

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  14. Section 9
    DQ's
    1. Depending on the circumstances they both can out weigh each other. In general though i'd say that talking is better because it displays emotion better
    3. No, they just accused him of that because they didn't agree with what he believed.
    4. I'd say no not literally, humans are perfectly imperfect.
    5. I agree with the idea in the aspect that there are levels of love but i don't believe it word for word
    6. In this day and age i'd say that practical knowledge may be more important than theoretical knowledge, but it has it's own scenarios where it shines. knowing "how to" is more important than just knowing these days.
    7. It's hard to say one way or the other sometimes society mirrors human nature exactly and sometimes its completely the opposite. I think it works that way, and mirror either one exactly wouldn't have a good outcome.
    8. I'd say Plato is assuming right that Socrates would be too wise for Plato's republic and bee seen as that escaped cave dweller.

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  15. Dalis de la Mothe3:02 PM CST

    Is talking better than writing?
    *I would never answered such an absolute question for each person and circumstances is different than the last. While writing some times reaches people better than the act of verbally conversation both requires some sort of rhetoric to persuade the audience of what ever they are trying to convey.

    ReplyDelete
  16. DQ:

    I think there is a key difference between happiness and pleasure, which is that pleasure comes from things that bring us satisfaction. For instance, a good meal or receiving money. Those are pleasuring things, but also things that won't last. You will move on to the next meal that won't be as satisfying or spend the money. On the other hand, I would think happiness is something that does not fleet as quickly. It is a build up of pleasures that leave a long lasting feeling. So, I can see how and why people view them as being interchangeable, but I think that is the key difference between the two.

    ReplyDelete
  17. section 8
    1. I think pleasure comes from a certain situation and happiness is something that last forever
    2. I would be on Aristotle's side

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  18. 10
    DQ There is a definitely a difference between pleasure and happiness, although some people use them interchangeably. Pleasure is an instant and quick form of satisfaction. Pleasure will go away quickly and is usually caused from one or a few things. Happiness is a long term emotion. It is a build up of pleasure. It is also more of a mindset and it will last longer.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Devin Willis9:20 PM CST

    Devin Willis-8 TH-16
    1. Pleasure is a temporary feeling, and happiness is a more consistent feeling within yourself.
    2. I would be on Plato's side because he looks at all forms of the world and beyond.
    3. No it wouldn't affect your happiness, because in heaven you will be an angel watching over your son, protecting him.
    4. I am happy and yes you could say I am a hedonist.
    5. No, I have to do my own investigation because anyone will lie to you no matter what color or reputation.

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  20. Section 8 - DQ 2/16

    3. I don't believe that tragic events after death can effect your happiness. Although, after reading Socrates' opinion on death, I do have to concede that I don't know what death is like!

    4. I believe that I am as happy as I want to be, that I alone am in control of my happiness. I guess that is sort of my own philosophy. I have had a quote from Abraham Lincoln hanging on the wall for a very long time : “I have noticed that most people in this world are about as happy as they have made up their minds to be.”

    5. NO! I do not. Especially today with the surge of fake news and alternative facts, I verify verify verify.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Clayton Thomas (10)10:01 AM CST

    DQ - 2/16
    1. For me, the difference between pleasure and happiness is pleasure is temporary positive feeling whereas happiness is having that feeling of pleasure for an extended period of time.

    2. Probably more like Plato because of his diligence to question everything which is something I also do.

    3. I feel like once your dead, your dead. You have no more emotions, although I can see Aristotle's because your children are the best thing one can leave behind in this world but their happiness does not determine yours, especially if you are dead.

    4. I would say I have temporary moments of happiness, but until I graduate and can finally do what I set out to accomplish, I don't think I'll be truly happy. I don't consider myself a hedonist, but I enjoy a good time. I just don't go looking for it.

    5. I would say no cause I tend to question everything, which is I probably wouldn't make the best soldier. But even a long accepted tradition is something I would question to at least figure out why it's happening so I can choose to believe it or not. I prefer to know what I'm getting myself into, instead of just jumping in because someone told me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. 10-D.Q.

    1.) I believe that pleasure is something that last for only a short time, in the moment, fleeting. While happiness is long lasting and incorporates how we go about our everyday lives.

    2.) I would probably side with Plato due to his ability to look at question at the whole, along with keeping one eye set on what's further beyond.

    3.) I do not believe that a tragic event after your own death can effect your happiness due to the fact that you are no longer in the bodily, or flesh form. That you have moved on from this life to the next, and things of this world can no longer effect you.

    4.) For the most part a can say I am happy, which does effect my everyday life for the better, resulting in a more positive view or outlook on things.

    5.) I do not base facts based on the authority of some else due to the fact that they could possibly be wrong. Everyone has opinions and ideals of their own, whether they are right or not is another question in itself. We, as people, tend to believe authority of an institution though possibly through our raising to trust in the authority of that specific institution, and the values that follow it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. 10
    02/14
    1. To me, the difference between pleasure and happiness is that pleasure is a fleeting feeling. It lasts for a little while, but its not forever. Happiness is more of a state of mind, it can last longer. In my opinion I strive for happiness, it's more of a mindset.

    2. I would be more on the side of Aristotle, I appreciate the way he thinks and views the world.

    3. I believe in heaven and so I believe that you would be able to watch over your children, so I guess I could see how Aristotle would say that these tragic events could affect your own life. I had never really thought about it before, but I see where he's coming from.

    4. Yes, I am happy. I'm content with where I'm at in life. I try to keep a happy mindset at all times.

    5. No, I usually try to find out things for myself. Depending on who or what the authority is I may tend to be a little more accepting of the facts, but at the end of the day I want to make sure of things on my own.

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  24. 10

    1. I would consider pleasure to be more of a feeling of euphoria. while happiness is a state of mind that is more diverse, but can consist of a feeling of pleasure as part of it.

    2. I would be more on Aristotle's side. Based on the picture Aristotle appears to be more of a realist, while Plato believes that the answers can't be in front of us and we must seek the answer from a higher source. It is almost as if he does not trust himself to make conclusions on his own based off observations he has made.

    3. I don't believe you can have feelings once you are dead.

    4. I wouldn't say that I am happy all the time but well. My happiness comes from accomplishing goals, and or based on things that are happening around me that I consider to be comforting, funny, or things of that nature.

    5. I don't believe someone based purely on authority. That person has to earn my respect or prove themselves to be knowledgeable in that specific area for my to trust them.

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  25. Section 9
    DQ's
    1. Happiness is an emotion while pleasure is more of a physical feeling.
    2. most likely id be like Diogenes laying on the floor having a good time
    3. Yes, they can those bad moments can stay with you and scar you.
    4. Id say that i'm happy, not so much seeking pleasure but just being happy.
    5. No, question everything. people always have ulterior motives.

    ReplyDelete
  26. 9
    1 - I believe pleasure is a fleeting positive feeling like reading a novel, hiking, sex, spending money, working out, or things Ike that. I that happiness is a situational thing and it can be taken away. That's why i thing that you can not always be happy, but you can always be joyfu. Joy is different from happiness or pleasure because it lasts and is not fleeting.

    2 - When you are thinking about the world beyond what you can see in front of you, I would assume that looking into the microscopic world. But I think it would be interesting to be looking into this theoretical idea of there is more to the eye that what one can see because I'm not sure that when the idea was presented by Plato, I'm not sure htat Plato was looking at. I think that I would side with Aristotle in that we should be interested in and focused on the world in front of you so that you may become the [est you you can be in that way.

    3 - I beleive in Heaven and Hell, and that I will live forever with my Creator in Heaven. If something were to happen after my death, I believe it would effect the happiness of the people who come after me as opposed to myself in the "afterlife" that is assumed.

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  27. #10
    1. Pleasure is temporary where as happiness is ever lasting.
    3. No, I don't agree with Aristotle. I believe once you die you don't feel anything.

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  28. 10
    - The difference between pleasure and happiness, in my opinion, is that happiness is long term and pleasure is short. Pleasure can be found in the little things, like playing video games after school or going for a brisk walk. Happiness can be found in things that will give you goodness for a long time, such as nailing a good job at a great company, finding your true love, or having a child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. - I believe that i am happy and try to stay away from hedonism. Although it is good to question everything, if you trust nothing you will never be happy.

      Delete